YouTube shooter identified; may have had a grudge against the site

(CNN) — The woman who opened fire at YouTube headquarters in Northern California may have been a disgruntled user of the video-sharing site.

Police identified the woman in Tuesday’s shooting as San Diego resident Nasim Najafi Aghdam, who was in her late 30s.

Aghdam wounded three people at the campus in San Bruno, south of San Francisco, then turned the gun on herself, authorities said. A fourth person suffered an ankle injury while escaping the gunfire.

Authorities don’t know of a motive for the shooting, but they are investigating a website that appears to show the same woman accusing YouTube of restricting her videos, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Longtime social media user

The website points to a prolific, longtime social media user. It lists four YouTube channels for the woman — one in Farsi, one in Turkish, one in English and one devoted to hand art. It also lists an Instagram page that focuses on vegan life.

CNN is working to verify the authenticity of the website. YouTube’s parent company, Google, referred CNN to an earlier statement about the shooting when contacted about the website.

The woman’s grievances against YouTube appear to be centered around censorship and revenue.

“There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE or any other video sharing site, your channel will grow if they want to!!!!!” one post reads. “Youtube filtered my channels to keep them from getting views!”

Another post accuses “close-minded” YouTube employees of putting an age restriction on videos, saying it’s aimed at reducing views and discouraging the woman from making new videos.

Vegan bodybuilder

On a YouTube channel, the same woman described herself as a vegan bodybuilder and an animal rights activist. By Tuesday night, the account had been terminated, with a YouTube message citing “multiple or severe violations” of its policy.

The postings are not limited to YouTube. Videos on several social media platforms include posts on animal rights, vegan lifestyle and the political system in Iran. Others include a bizarre mix of musical parodies.

As questions remain on the motive, police have said there’s no evidence the shooter knew the victims or that they were specifically targeted.

The YouTube shooter joins a rare list of female attackers. The FBI examined active shooter incidents in the United States between 2000 and 2016, and found that only nine of the 220 incidents involved female shooters.

YouTube was founded in February 2005 and quickly became a major site for online videos. It was later purchased by Google.

More than 1,100 people work at the YouTube office in San Bruno, about 10 miles from San Francisco.

 

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5 comments

    • Internet Detective

      Google may be the world’s most popular search engine, but it has also been the subject of a number of accusations in recent years that it is purposefully censoring searches and influencing results. In the case of search results related to the Parkland shooting, that alleged influence is becoming even more apparent.
      This week, the staff at The Free Thought Project began testing various keywords related to the Parkland shooting on different search engines, and we noticed that if our search terms were controversial, the first page of Google results was filled with entirely different information than the other search engines. The information showed on Google was often not relevant to our search, and the results always seemed to support the official narrative.
      The most striking of these results came when we searched for the words “girl says 3 shooters parkland,” expecting the news footage of an eyewitness from the school saying that there were multiple shooters.
      On Google this video did not come up, nor did any articles about the statement that the student made to the news, despite the fact that our search was extremely specific. Don’t be fooled by the top article “Calling B.S in Parkland, Florida,” it is an op-ed promoting gun control.

      Oddly enough, when we searched for the same keywords on Yahoo, Bing or Duck Duck Go, each search engine brought up exactly what we were seeking. Try this experiment yourself and see what you come up with. It does not just have to be for this story—if you find other stories and search terms that Google appears to be suppressing, let us know. Below are screenshots from Duck Duck Go and Bing. We did not post Yahoo because their results were identical to Bing.

      Google became the most popular search engine on the web because it connected people with the links that were close to their searches while offering up a wide variety of different sources. But now it is obviously far past time to move onto more trusted platforms.
      In the early days of the internet, search engines and service providers like youtube acted as a gateway to the world. But over the years the most powerful of these companies have increasingly begun to act as gatekeepers, caving into pressure from the government.
      In the last two years, censorship on the internet has been brought to an all-time high, thanks to “fake news” hysteria and a consistent campaign from the mainstream media to silence dissenting voices during times of tragedy when the official story has come into question—like the recent shootings in Las Vegas or Parkland.
      Instead of investigating stories and asking tough questions, the mainstream media simply regurgitate press releases from police and government agencies. Before the internet gave birth to the alternative media there was only one side to every news story, the official narrative, and for the most part, everyone believed it. Even if news outlets have partisan disagreements about politics, they always sell the basic version of reality, especially when it comes to questioning information handed down from those in authority.
      As the alternative media has grown in size and relevance in recent years, there has become a wide range of perspectives for people to choose from, and there is no longer just one side to the story when large news events happen. Now there are many different investigations and theories behind every event—from the brilliant to the insane—leaving it up to the reader to use their own critical thinking when reading this news.
      Critics see this as some type of breakdown of reality, where everyone just adopts whatever version of the world that suits their needs. While this is a legitimate problem that does happen to some extent—in the case of online echo chambers and actual fake news—these things are far less dangerous than allowing an all-powerful media cartel to think for us.